Year Long Disaster – Black Magic: All Mysteries Revealed

January 01, 1970

(Volcom Entertainment)


Even though a sustained collective groan may have been heard
from the peanut gallery at the news that Soundgarden was getting back together
this year – whatever capital the band amassed during its heyday got squandered faster’n
you can say “Mission accomplished!” and “Heckuva job, Brownie!” in the wake of
Chris Cornell’s insipid solo career – reasons to cheer for fans of
brain-crunching, ball-clutching hard fuh arrives in the form of Year Long Disaster’s second longplayer. It’s a throwback
to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, before the legions of faux-grunge
flannel-flyers dominated the national stage, and certainly to the mid ‘70s too,
when hirsute rockers aimed to lay waste to all the Jim Croce/Gerry Rafferty
have-a-nice-day merchants.  


YLD is the brainchild of guitarist Daniel Davies, son of
Dave Davies (who arguably invented the heavy metal riff; see: “You Really Got
Me”), and bassist Rich Mullins, also of West Virginia stoner-rock combo Karma
To Burn; drummer Brad Hargreaves is on loan from alterna-mooks Third Eye Blind,
but don’t hold that against the band ‘cos YLD pretty much mops the floor with
all comers. One detects elements of vintage Sabbath, Led Zep, Free and even Sir
Lord Baltimore tussling with such latterday skronksters as Clutch, BRMC and,
yes, Soundgarden, with the occasional southern rock big-ass boogie flourish
creeping into the mix for good measure.


With those namechecks in mind, among the picks to click here
are: “Love Like Blood,” an irresistible cruncher powered by a meat-and-potatoes
AC/DC riff plus Davies’ Cornell-like screech; “Seven of Swords,” a
modal-flavored 12-string number that could’ve been on Led Zeppelin III or Zoso (here, Davies uncannily channels Robert Plant as well); and “She Told Us All,”
whose serial killer intensity and purposeful slow-burn quality brings to mind a
cross between Free and Sonic Temple-era
Cult. And although the armchair cynics among you are no doubt already
poo-poohing all this as just recycled cock rock, it’s to YLD’s credit that
no matter how much time you spend playing spot-the-influence, they still emerge
as compelling and charismatic in their own right. While everyone breathlessly
awaits the latest reunion-for-all-the-wrong-reasons from some washed-up ‘90s
outfit, relative newcomers such as Year Long Disaster are just doing what they
do for all the right reasons, and
they ring true in the process.


Standout Tracks: “Foggy Bottom,” “Seven of Swords,” “She Told Us All” FRED MILLS




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